The soldiers, from 213 battalion, 234 battalion, Army headquarters Team A and Task Force Mike, were deployed at the Adamawa axis of Operation Zamani Lafiya during a two-day attack by Islamist insurgents on Mubi town, Adamawa State on October 28 and 29. Military authorities felt that the soldiers, numbering about 2,000, had abandoned orders to fight. Our sources said the soldiers’ respective commanding officers had been instructed to dismiss them.
One of the dismissed soldiers, Bidemi Busari, who is female, said that they were not given fair hearing. She said she and other female soldiers originally posted to 234 battalion in Mubi were redeployed to the 23rd Brigade headquarters in Yola, the capital of Adamawa. She added that they were not part of the troops dislodged from Mubi when Boko Haram insurgents attacked the town on October 29, 2014. She wondered why she had to be dismissed.
Another source quoted the commanding officer (CO) of the 82 Infantry battalion, who dismissed one of the soldiers, as stating that the dismissal order came directly from the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah. The soldier said the CO disclosed that he had orders to dismiss all returning soldiers.
Another source said the garrison commander of the 3rd Division dismissed close to 100 soldiers, disclosing that he was acting on a “directive from above.” One of the dismissed soldiers, Staff Sergeant Richard Madyewula, said he was not given any chance to explain himself during the process. He said he was just declared guilty and dismissed. In a statement he wrote and submitted to Colonel A.O.D. Okoro, 3rd Division military police commander, the staff sergeant said he was deployed at Burnt Bricks, Mubi (Bravo Company located at the 234th battalion in Mubi, adding that he was not at the battalion headquarters on the day of the insurgents’ assaults. “On 29th of Oct. 2014, I started hearing sporadic gunshots which of course I [knew was] a repel fire against approaching enemies. The firing was heard from inside Mubi town, so my officer-in-charge Major P.O. Mukoro immediately moved with one platoon of soldiers in the only available utility vehicle to beef up the strength of soldiers deployed at the entrance of Mubi town popularly known as “Welcome to Mubi”. On reaching there he discovered that the insurgents had blockaded the checkpoint and were already exchanging fire inside the base camp (234 battalion headquarters). So he called me as the most senior man in that location (Burnt Bricks) and asked me to move the men to join up with the battalion headquarters. Since we were moving about 16 kilometers distance on foot, we didn’t reach there before he called me again to move the men to Mahia local government, that the battalion headquarters in Mubi had been over-run. All these instructions I followed strictly. So I don’t know why the Army [would] charge me with the statement offense [of disobedience] to [a] particular order and dismiss me.”
SaharaReporters also learnt that the officers of the affected four battalions were still being held in the Officers’ Mess of Maxwell Khobe Cantonment, Jos, uncertain of their fates.